Vanessa Bryant, the wife of the late Kobe Bryant, has issued her first public statement since her husband and daughter Gianna died in a helicopter crash last weekend.
In an Instagram post shared on Wednesday evening (January 29), Vanessa thanked the millions of fans all over the world who have shown support for her family during what she called a “horrific” time.
“Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them,” Vanessa, who had been married to Kobe since 2001, wrote. “We are completely devastated by the sudden loss of my adoring husband, Kobe — the amazing father of our children; and my beautiful, sweet Gianna — a loving, thoughtful, and wonderful daughter, and amazing sister to Natalia, Bianka, and Capri.”
Kobe, 41, and Gianna, 13, died on Sunday in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, in which none of the nine people on board survived. Vanessa wrote that she and her girls were also grieving for the other victims of the crash, which included two of Gianna’s teammates, three parents, an assistant coach, and the pilot. The group was on its way to a youth basketball game at the Mamba Sports Academy, where Kobe coached.
Earlier today, Vanessa changed her Instagram profile picture to one of Kobe embracing a young Gianna. She paired her new statement with a full family photo, which includes herself, Kobe, and their four daughters.
“There aren’t enough words to describe our pain right now,” Vanessa’s statement continued. “I take comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved. We were so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives. I wish they were here with us forever. They were our beautiful blessings taken from us too soon.”
In her post, Vanessa also asked for privacy as she and her daughters figure out how “to navigate this new reality.”
“I’m not sure what our lives hold beyond today, and it’s impossible to imagine life without them,” she wrote. “But we wake up each day, trying to keep pushing because Kobe, and our baby girl, Gigi, are shining on us to light the way. Our love for them is endless — and that’s to say, immeasurable. I just wish I could hug them, kiss them and bless them. Have them here with us, forever.”